My two-year-old loves radio telescopes. My friends are convinced that I trained my son Günther to point to and squeal in excitement at pictures of large antennas opened toward the cosmos, but I’ve only encouraged this behavior through my own glee at seeing a radio telescope. Even at two, he recognizes that there is something beautiful about the sight of these large white metal instruments.
Most mornings, Günther points at the fabric conference poster hanging from my bedroom wall, captivated by the image of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) at the bottom. He laughs excitedly when I wear my green apron from the Very Large Array (VLA) that has “All these dishes, where’s the dessert?” written across it, along with a slew of white radio antennas. He never fails to tug at my apron, carefully studying each and every dish. Günther’s favorite shirt is a blue one sporting a glow-in-the-dark rendering of the Green Bank Telescope (GBT).
Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA)
I was seven the first time I saw a radio telescope, though I didn’t know it was a telescope at the time. I was in the back seat of my family’s car on my way to ...